User Perspectives

Alexandra Foley | October 17, 2014

The communication network wasn’t designed to carry the amount of traffic that is currently transmitted around the world on a daily basis. With the rapid expansion in data traffic and the exponential growth in high-speed communications, the current network is coming under increasing strain. At Bell Labs, researchers are looking into ways to improve energy efficiency through the use of optimized electronics cooling and energy harvesting technology. Two new energy-savings approaches developed by the group promise significant savings.

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Jennifer Segui | September 3, 2014

Billions of dollars are spent each year in the U.S. to repair corrosion damage. To help reduce the high cost of corrosion, engineers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. are using multiphysics simulation to gain a better understanding of the fundamental mechanism. A successful research outcome at NRL will establish the correlation between metal microstructure, corrosion, and mechanical strength. Material designers could then develop stronger, corrosion-resistant materials using this new information.

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Laura Bowen | September 2, 2014

Micromechanical sensors are crucial to many standard commercial products in nanoelectronics and nanomechanics. These are sensors that are so small they operate on the nanoscale, with parts measuring in billionths of a meter. Researchers at the University of Alberta are exploring ways to find the effective mass — the mass of a particle when reacting to a force — of micromechanical sensors in a faster way. This measurement is key to performing thermomechanical calibration.

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Alexandra Foley | August 25, 2014

Hematology analysis is an important step in medical diagnoses, often determining the treatment that a patient will receive. With a patient’s life on the line, it is vital that these analyses are accurate to the highest degree possible. Researchers at HORIBA Medical, a worldwide supplier of medical diagnostic equipment, turned to simulation to develop new methods for optimizing the accuracy of their hematology analysis devices. The resulting technique is currently used in some of their best-selling equipment.

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Alexandra Foley | July 31, 2014

The Swiss steel company SMS Concast has been leveraging multiphysics simulation to optimize the steelmaking process of continuous casting. Through research conducted using COMSOL Multiphysics, the R&D team at SMS Concast was able to implement a new technique that allowed a steelmaking plant in Taiwan to reduce yearly CO2 emissions by about 40,000 tons.

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Laura Bowen | July 16, 2014

The need for a contaminant-free space to manufacture medicine has led scientists to try many creative new approaches to improve the process. At Argonne National Lab, creating a device that floats and rotates chemical compounds in thin air was just the answer they were looking for. It meant two important changes: the amount of each chemical necessary could be implemented very precisely and the risk of outside impurities disrupting the results was minimized.

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Lexi Carver | July 15, 2014

In order to carry astronauts safely beyond earth’s atmosphere to where they can explore outer space, spacecraft must provide a very important chemical mixture: breathable air. Given the limits on space and weight for a manned shuttle, the systems flying aboard the craft must revitalize the air inside rather than carry the full amount needed for a mission. With this in mind, a team at NASA has developed an approach to atmosphere revitalization that relies on water adsorption.

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Alexandra Foley | July 11, 2014

There are many factors that go into designing the ideal oven — supreme cooking capability is a must, but energy efficiency and the use of materials with reduced environmental impact is also important. How can all of these different factors be combined to create an oven that is optimized for the best performance? Engineers working at Whirlpool Corporation along with the European green energy initiative, GREENKITCHEN project, found that multiphysics simulation was vital to the success of their design process.

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Alexandra Foley | July 3, 2014

Under an initiative by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), nuclear research reactors currently using highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel must be converted to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel with a goal to help prevent the spread of material that can be used to create nuclear weapons. Nuclear engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have turned to multiphysics simulation in order to precisely and accurately explore new designs for the safe conversion of the ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor.

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Alexandra Foley | June 25, 2014

Wind turbine noise is a (hotly disputed) topic that we’ve mentioned on the blog before. While research into noise production by wind farms is still being debated among researchers, one way we’ve found to overcome these noisy turbine troubles is to place turbines offshore where they can’t be heard and, conveniently, high winds with more regularity make energy production more effective. However, a question that comes to mind is: What impact do offshore wind farms have on marine life?

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Laura Bowen | June 24, 2014

The Passive Vaccine Storage Device (PVSD) is a highly advanced container that combines ingenuity and insulation technology to empower aid workers delivering vaccines to the toughest-to-reach corners of the globe. Designed as a prototype that improves upon earlier models of vaccine transportation devices, this compact apparatus was developed with all the necessary steps: careful planning, simulation, and testing.

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